Members of unions representing Cleveland policemen and paramedics said they will not participate in the Browns’ opening game ceremonies and hold a large U.S. flag on Sept. 10, WKYC reported.
Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association president Steve Loomis said that union members had been scheduled to help hold the American flag before the Browns’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, along with other law enforcement officials and military personnel. However, the union decided to back out of the ceremony after 11 members of the Browns decided to kneel in prayer during the national anthem before the team’s preseason game against the New York Giants on Aug. 21.
Loomis said union members were angered when they learned that Browns management knew about the protest before the game but did not stop it.
“As a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and the United States Navy, and a 24-year veteran of the Cleveland Police Department, I am not going to participate or work with management that allows their players to disrespect the flag and the national anthem,” Loomis told WKYC.
Loomis said the Browns are aware of the union’s plans and sent him a statement saying they were “disappointed” the officers were not “honoring their commitment” to help hold the flag.
“I find that completely hypocritical," Loomis told WKYC.